Wedding Shower Cake

My first “official” cake for an event, and it was a huge success! I made this cake for the wedding shower of one of my sister’s best friends. There were approximately 35 people in attendance, and two of them approached me for business cards, and a good many more gave me many compliments on the cake. The bride’s colors are sage green and silver and her invitation “theme” was circles and squares. I tried to incorporate all of those elements into the cake and I think I succeeded, as the bride was extremely happy with the cake. I wish the lighting would have been better (or that I had a better camera), as none of my pictures really turned out all that well, but they do the job ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wilton Course III, Class 4

My final cake, a 2-tier wedding-style cake. This cake consists of 10-inch and 6-inch cakes, covered in fondant with fondant roses and leaves, and buttercream borders. I actually completed this cake on my own at home because I came down with a little bug and couldn’t make it to my final class. I am pretty proud of completing this with only the instruction of the book and not a teacher!

These roses were definitely time-intensive, as it probably took about 5-6 hours total to construct the 38 roses that went on this cake. Other than that, it was a pretty typical decorating job. I am having a great time doing cake decorating and will move on to the Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste class in July.

More pictures after the break (I went a little crazy with the camera)…

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Wilton Course III: Class 2

My very first fondant cake! I was excited about working with fondant, and it turned out to be really easy once I got the hang of it. Kneading it may give me carpal tunnel, but I was beyond pleased with the final product. All said and done, the decorating ended up taking me close to 2.5 hours to complete, but a lot of that was instruction time in learning how to knead the fondant, roll it out, cut it, etc. I think I might be addicted to fondant now – making the decorations was so much fun!

Next class – doing a rose in fondant and learning some additional flowers with royal icing. And then the finale – a two-tier cake!

New York-Style Crumb Cake

Entenmann’s has nothing on Cook’s Illustrated! I was watching some recorded episodes of America’s Test Kitchen and saw this incredible crumb cake being made. Crumb cake has been on my “to make” list for some time now, as I just can’t resist the light, fluffy cake topping with that sweet crumb topping. It was perfect timing because I was looking for something to make for our monthly neighborhood “Girls Night”. Although the recipe states that it serves 8-10, since I was bringing it for a crowd, I cut the cake into 16 pieces and placed each of them in a cupcake liner for easy consumption. I thought the presentation was so cute, and the cake was definitely a hit. My mom had a piece the next day and said that these rank in the Top 3 things I have ever made. Now that’s a compliment! I stowed away a couple of pieces for myself before I left, but in all honesty, I probably could have eaten this whole cake myself.

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Vanilla Cake + Chocolate Hazelnut Filling + Chocolate Frosting =

Happy Birthday to my sister, Lauren!!

After I started taking my cake decorating classes, my sister asked if I would make (and decorate, of course) a cake for her birthday. Of course I said yes! Then she saw the drunk clown cake and demanded that a drunk clown grace the top of her cake. Haha, okay, of course that can be done! Err, so I thought. I was pretty pressed for time yesterday as I was trying to run errands and get packed for vacation (incidentally, this post is brought to you courtesy of Charlotte Douglas Airport :)). I didn’t want to chance a clown catastrophe, so instead I gave her a cake of crooked writing and a martini glass. That’s drunk, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and I added polka dots to the sides:

When I asked what flavors she wanted she said a yellow cake, chocolate frosting, and some type of hazelnut-flavored filling. The cake is a classic yellow cake, made using the Fluffy Yellow Cake recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (recipes for the cake, filling, and frosting follow below). I decided to torte the layers for a more “sophisticated” cake, and between them is a very thin layer of chocolate frosting topped with a hazelnut ganache.

I was really happy with this cake except that I would have poured the ganache into the cake and let it set there instead of at room temperature, as it got a little too hard and was nearly impossible to work with between the cake layers. Everyone thought that the flavors of the cake were great, and said it was really rich, so if you want to make something a little less rich, I would suggest not torting the layers and instead going with a traditional 2-layer cake.

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TWD: Fluted Polenta Ricotta Cake

This week’s recipe selection comes to us from Caitlin over at Engineer Baker. I have to be completely honest – at first glance, this recipe didn’t seem all that appealing to me, but my mom and grandma thought it sounded fantastic, so I decided to make it and give it to them to enjoy. As I was putting the cake together, it smelled absolutely fabulous! Definitely a distinct Mediterranean aroma, and as it baked the smell only got better.

More about the cake and the recipe after the break…

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Wilton Course 1, Class 4

I “graduated” last night from Wilton Course 1: Discover Cake Decorating. I had so much fun with this class, and was very pleased with my final cake:

When we learned “THE ROSE” last week in class, I was awful. I couldn’t remember which way to hold the tip or spin the flower nail and as a result, well, they weren’t the prettiest ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I made a batch of icing for the sole purpose of practicing the rose. I probably made upwards of 40 roses just to practice, and it really did help, as I think I definitely improved! A closer look at the rose spray on my cake:

Last night, in addition to putting together our final cake, we also learned how to make sweet peas and leaves. I loved them both! The sweet peas are so cute and the leaves were a lot of fun to make. A close up of one of my sweet peas:

I have already signed up for Course 2 and will be starting when we get back from vacation in a few weeks (the instructor was nice enough to push back the start date of the next class so that I only missed the first overview class!). I can’t wait to learn all of the different flowers!